Rizal sa Dapitan

From Wikipilipinas: The Hip 'n Free Philippine Encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Rizal sa Dapitan (also referred to as Rizal in Dapitan) is a biographical drama film depicting the life of the Philippine national hero Dr. Jose P. Rizal during his exile in Dapitan. It stars veteran actor Albert Martinez as Jose Rizal. It also focused on his romance with Josephine Bracken played by Amanda Page. The film was directed by Tikoy Aquiluz and the screenplay was written by Pete Lacaba. Originally released in 1997 by Independent Cinema Association of the Philippines, it was released on DVD by Viva Home Video. The film won numerous accolades in FAMAS Awards 1998 including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Screenplay.


Plot Summary

The film starts with Dr. Jose Rizal being ferried to Dapitan in the province of Zamboanga after being implicated in the activities of the growing rebellion in July 1892. He was met by Father Obach(Chris Micelena) who asked Rizal to renounce his heretical statements. Rizal arrived in Dapitan, marking its poor and seemingly uncivilized condition and vowed to make developments within the town. Some of these many developments were the draining of marshes in the province to get rid of the mosquitoes which was the cause of Malaria in the town, a lighting system made of coconut lamps which were posted in the dark streets of Dapitan, a water supply system made of bamboo shoots, and the remodeling of the town plaza with the help of his Jesuit teacher, Father Francisco Sanchez. He also created a relief map of Mindanao using stones soil and grass in front of the town’s church. Rizal’s most recognized contribution to the town was education, teaching children (which most, according to history, have become successful individuals) how to write, read, and other miscellaneous activities like fencing, sculpting, and painting. Being an experienced ophthalmologist, he visited people of the town and treated them. His patients include his mother Teodora Alonzo (Rustica Carpio) who visited Rizal together with Maria (Candy Pangilinan) and Narcisa (Tess Dumpit). One certain American patient named George Taufer (Paul Holmes) visited Rizal for a possible treatment but Taufer’s condition was beyond Rizal’s help. Regardless, he met his stepdaughter, Josephine Bracken and fell in love with her immediately. Eventually she left Taufer to be engaged to Rizal. This engagement was questioned by Rizal’s family, especially Maria who had suspicions of her being a spy. They would not marry under the Catholic Church due to the local friar’s opposition to Rizal’s political writings and stance. Unfortunately before they marry under common-law, they had a stillborn child named Francisco. The film ends with Rizal leaving Bracken, the town of Dapitan, and the people mourning for his departure. There was also an added epilogue that stated Rizal’s intent to work in Cuba, his arrest, his execution, and the birth of the Philippine Revolution.

Historical highlights of the film

Following the arrest Jose Rizal due to his incriminatory and satirical leaflets regarding rich Dominican friars, Governor-General Ramon Despujol decreed the deportation of Rizal to one of the islands in the South. The gubernatorial decree gave the reasons for Rizal’s exile. These are some of the historical highlights depicted in the film.

  • Rizal had published books and articles abroad which showed disloyalty to Spain and which are “frankly anti-Catholic” and “imprudently anti-friar”.
  • A few hours after his arrival in Manila, “there was found in one of the packages, a bundle of handbills entitled ‘’Pobres Frailes’’ in which the patient and humble generosity of Filipinos wais satirized, and in which accusations were published against the customs of the religious orders.
  • His novel, El Filibusterismo was dedicated in memory of the three “traitors”, Fathers Jose Burgos, Mariano Gómez, and Jacinto Zamora (Gomburza). On the title page, he wrote that in view of the vices and errors of the Spanish administration, “the only salvation for the Philippines is separation from the mother country - Spain”.

Cast and Crew



  • Tikoy Aguiluz - Director, Producer
  • Jose F. Lacaba - Screenwriter
  • Albert Rima - Sound/Sound Designer
  • Jimmy Fabregas - Composer (Music Score)
  • Judy Lou de Pio - Production Designer
  • Mirana Medina-Bhunjun - Editor
  • Nap Jamir - Cinematographer
  • Neila Villaflores - First Assistant Director
  • Paeng de Peralta - Co-producer
  • Presly Ruiz - Production Designer
  • Romeo Vitug - Cinematographer
  • Tess Dumpit – Casting

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Result
1997 Metro Manila Film Festival *Best Cinematography (Romeo Vitug, Nap Jamir)
*Best Musical Score (Jaime Fabregas)
*Best Screenplay (Jose Lacaba)
*Gatpuno Antonio J. Villegas Cultural Award
1998 FAMAS Awards Centennial Award
Best Director (Tikoy Aquiluz)
Best Picture
Best Production Design (Presly Ruiz, Judy Lou de Pio)
Best Screenplay (Jose Lacaba)
Best Story (Tikoy Aquiluz)
1998 Gawad Urian Awards (Pinakamahusay na Pangunahing Aktor) – Albert Martinez
Best Supporting Actress (Pinakamahusay na Pangalawang Aktres)- Amanda Page
1998 Star Awards for Movies Adapted screenplay of the year (Jose Lacaba)
Cinematographer(s) of the year (Romeo Vitug, Nap Jamir)
Director of the year (Tikoy Aquiluz)
Sound Engineer of the year (Bert De Santos)
Movie of the year

Critical reception

Rizal sa Dapitan won many accolades in 1997 and 1998, most notably Jose Lacaba’s Screenplay which won awards in FAMAS, Gawad Urian and Star Awards. A blog from After Dark praised Lacaba for his honest and beautifully written historical drama which was perfect for Director Tikoy Aquiluz’s no-budget '’querilla’’-style filmmaking. As much as it was a box office hit in the country, the film got mixed reviews, scoring 4 out of 10 stars in IMBD.com ,3 out of 5 stars in MSN Movie reviews and 2 out of 5 stars in BlockBuster.com

The movie overemphasized Rizal’s skills and talents, noticeably more than his political views regarding the current regime of the setting. One review from IMBD.com proclaimed that Rizal looked “messianic and god-like,” and seemingly “all knowing and all-powerful.” in the movie although Rizal in real life was truly a jack of all trades, but was quite boring in a narrative sense.

Several performances of the actors and actresses were negatively criticized. Exemption goes to Candy Pangilinan and Jaime Fabregas with their astounding performance as ‘’Maria’’ and ‘’Father Sanchez’’ respectively, being just some of the few redeeming factors of the film as reviewed by ClicktheCity and IMDb. Albert Martinez’ portrayal of Rizal was satisfactory although his approach was considered one-dimensional. Amanda Page, however, was terribly off as Josephine Bracken. Most reviews stated that her performance came off as bland and lacked the much needed drama in potentially dramatic scenes, for instance, the “stillborn baby” scenario.


  • Jose Lacaba receives lifetime achievement award, Critic After Dark, (July 12, 2008)[[1]] (Accessed June 21, 2011)
  • Rizal sa Dapitan, Internet Movie Database (IMDb)]] (November 2, 2003) [[2]] (Accessed June 21, 2011)
  • On our shelves: Rizal sa Dapitan, Click The City, (January 3, 2009) [[3]] (Accessed June 21, 2011)
  • Rizal Sa Dapitan: Overview, MSN Entertainment [[4]] (Accessed June 21, 2011)
  • Rizal Sa Dapitan(1997), BlockBuster [[5]] (Accessed June 21, 2011)
  • Rizal Sa Dapitan OP Papers (January 13, 2011)[[6]] (Accessed June 21, 2011)
  • Rizal In Dapitan Fandango. [[7]] (Accessed June 21, 2011)
  • Rizal sa Dapitan Summary Starpulse [[8]] (Accessed June 21, 2011)
  • Zaide, Gregorio F. et. al.., “Jose Rizal: Life Works and Writings of a Genius Writer, Scientist, and National Hero, Second Edition”, Cubao, Quezon City, All-Nations Publishing Co.,2006



Original content from WikiPilipinas. under GNU Free Documentation License. See full disclaimer.